Pit Bull & Chihuahua Spay/Neuter Guidelines & Online Application

March 2020 Statement regarding COVID-19

Given the current pandemic, in an effort to reduce resource use, workload, and the potential for human exposure, shelters and spay neuter clinics have been advised by the Surgeon General to limit or discontinue "non-essential" or "elective" surgical procedures. Additionally, the American Veterinary Medical Association made a statement that veterinary practices can and should defer elective procedures to preserve medical supplies, but also must be able to provide medically necessary care.

For the purpose of these recommendations a non-emergency ("elective" or "non-essential") surgical procedure is one that is not urgently required in order to maintain the health of the patient. Most spays and neuters are non-emergency procedures.

Conservation of PPE is not the only reason to defer non-emergency surgeries. Either currently or in the next several weeks it is expected that shelters will experience:

  • Reduced staffing in shelters as staff and volunteers become ill or need to quarantine.  If the number of animals in shelters does not also decrease dramatically a crisis of care may develop with insufficient capacity and supplies to care for the animals in the shelter.
  • Continued need for veterinary care for animals with reduced veterinary capacity
  • Scarcity of medical equipment and supplies
  • Need to limit contact between people in an effort to reduce human exposure

The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe has suspended community spay/neuter surgeries at the shelter clinic. We will still be accepting applications for the voucher program but will not be able to book appointments TBD in accordance with information presented in this continuously evolving environment.

In the meantime, please make sure you understand the income and vaccination requirements and how the program works. Please take extra care to avoid other unaltered pets, and to closely monitor your pets to ensure no unwanted litters occur. If you’re able to make an appointment with a private Veterinarian, we encourage you to do so as the wait time for this program will be delayed for several weeks or even months.

Thank you for your understanding as we navigate the consequences of this global pandemic.


Qualification Guidelines:

You must permanently reside in Truckee, Eastern El Dorado County, Eastern Placer County, Eastern Nevada County, Incline Village, Sierra County, or Southlake Tahoe from Glenbrook to Meyers.

The FREE spay/neuter program is for dogs labeled as Pit Bulls or Chihuahuas, as their identifying or primary breed. Determining whether your dog is a Pit Bull/Chihuahua will be at the sole discretion of our staff. Documentation of breed history can be provided, but the final decision will be made by staff. (If your dog's primary breed would not be labeled Pit Bull or Chihuahua in a shelter setting, DNA testing that reveals less than 50% Pitbull or Chihuahua ancestry will not qualify for this program).

Eligible owners of all other breeds can apply for our affordable Community Discount Spay/Neuter program here. Only owned pets qualify for the community spay/neuter program. No rescue groups, foster organizations, strays, or shelter pets will be allowed to participate. If you have a contract for your pet with another rescue or shelter organization to provide spay/neuter assistance, please contact them.

Dogs MUST be current on required vaccinations (RABIES, DAPP, BORDETELLA) at LEAST 10-14 days prior to surgery. Vaccine records should be emailed to kara@hstt.org.

Your application must be filled out in its entirety in order to be considered.

The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe are proponents of the proven science that a dog's appearance does not determine his or her breed. However, certain breed labels generate discrimination and can place dogs at risk should they become homeless. This program was put into place in an effort to prevent accidental litters of dogs that would be identified as Pitbull or Chihuahua, and potentially discriminated against, based on their appearance. Additionally, this program was designed to decrease over-population of breeds most commonly found in shelters long-term. For more information, please contact Kara at 530-582-2463. 

Additional Information:

Surgeries are Tuesdays at 8:00AM and are scheduled by appointment only - the Pitbull/Chihuahua program does not provide vouchers to outside Veterinarians; all dogs are seen at the shelter clinic in Truckee for their spay/neuter surgery.

Free Microchipping is available with each spay/neuter appointment.

Because of age, illness, size, or other factors, some animals may not be appropriate candidates for spaying or neutering through this clinic. You should consult with a veterinarian about the suitability of your pet for surgery, but your pet's eligibility will be determined by the shelter medical team. 

All surgery, including spay/neuter surgery, can have risks. Complications, including injury or death of the animal can occur. It is your responsibility to talk to our veterinarian about this prior to your appointment.

How to Participate:

Complete the online application here and email your vaccination records to kara@hstt.org or fax to 530-582-1103 ATTN: CSN PROGRAM

Or, download and complete the FREE Pitbull & Chihuahua Spay/Neuter application (en español) and return it to HSTT with vaccination records.

Spots are limited and appointments will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis to qualifying applicants. PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY. If your pet is in heat or pregnant, the additional costs associated with the surgery will be the owner's responsibility. Please speak with our veterinarian about these fees and your options.

Surgeries will be performed by the Humane Society’s vet, Dr. Mike Ryan, DVM at our shelter facility located at 10961 Stevens Lane in Truckee.

For questions or more information about HSTT's Community Spay/Neuter programs, please contact Kara at 530.582.2463 or kara@hstt.org

We wish to thank the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation for helping us fund these valuable programs.  These programs also made possible through a generous grant from the Lahontan Community Foundation Fund held at the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation.